|Publication number||US6045525 A|
|Application number||US 09/163,214|
|Publication date||Apr 4, 2000|
|Filing date||Sep 29, 1998|
|Priority date||Sep 29, 1998|
|Publication number||09163214, 163214, US 6045525 A, US 6045525A, US-A-6045525, US6045525 A, US6045525A|
|Inventors||Ralph M. Chitwood|
|Original Assignee||Glacier Cross, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (28), Classifications (7), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a pneumatic lumbar traction device which can be placed on the floor or any other horizontal surface, such as a table, and the user thereof can strap himself or herself to the device and then, by pumping a hand pump, can cause a lower pelvic traction belt strapped around the pelvic area to be pulled outwardly from a foot end of the device with a chest strap holding the user to an upper surface of the device.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Heretofore various traction belts and traction devices have been proposed where a user can exert a stretching force on the lumbar area of the back. Examples of previously proposed traction belts and traction devices are disclosed in the following U.S. Pat. Nos.:
______________________________________U.S. Pat. No. Patentee______________________________________3,960,146 Albrecht4,073,290 Farrar, Jr.4,099,523 Lowrey4,135,503 Romano4,356,816 Granberg4,466,427 Granberg4,508,109 SaundersRe. 32,791 Saunders4,627,423 Kampner4,641,637 Rosen4,664,101 Granberg4,995,378 Dyer et al.5,052,378 Chitwood5,115,802 Dyer5,667,529 Butner______________________________________
Furthermore, a Saunders lumbar traction device sold under the trademark STx™ applies force via a hand-held pump which causes the lower half of the device to glide over a friction-free surface with the lower half of the user's body moving with the lower half of the device.
The Albrecht U.S. Pat. No. 3,960,146, the Farrar, Jr. U.S. Pat. No. 4,073,290, the Chitwood U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,378, and the Rosen U.S. Pat. No. 4,641,637 all disclose a traction belt with a lower strap for engaging an outer end of the piston or other mechanism for pulling the traction belt in a direction away from the torso of the person using the traction belt at a foot end of the device.
The Granberg U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,466,427 and 4,664,101 disclose a traction table for pelvic traction or cervical traction. The traction table utilizes a hydraulic system for a hydraulic piston cylinder located underneath the table.
As will be described in greater detail hereinafter, the pneumatic lumbar traction device of the present invention differs from the various devices disclosed in the prior art patents and literature described above by providing an upper hollow shell part for supporting a user's body and having, on an upper surface thereof, Velcro™ patches for holding a chest strap to the upper part, and a lower part having a framework or plate with a centrally located, pneumatically operated, piston and cylinder mechanism having a piston rod which extends out of a foot end of the device and which is adapted to engage a T-bar which is connectable to a pelvic traction belt received around the user's pelvic area, a hand pump being provided for moving the piston in the cylinder to extend the piston rod while the chest strap fixed to an upper surface of the upper part holds the user to the device.
According to the present invention there is provided a pneumatic lumbar traction device comprising: two separable parts, namely an upper hollow shell and a lower board, plate or frame. The plate or frame has a pneumatically operated piston and cylinder mechanism located centrally thereof with a piston rod extending outwardly to engage a guided bar guided in a guideway mounted to the plate or frame. The guided bar extends outwardly of a foot end of the hollow shell and the plate or frame having an outer perimeter. The hollow shell has an inner perimeter which is sized to seat over and around the outer perimeter of the plate or frame, such that the outer perimeter of the plate or frame can bear against the inner perimeter of said hollow shell at a head end of the device when traction is placed on the lumbar region of a users back. The hollow shell has the foot end and a head end, the opening at the foot end allowing the guided bar to extend therethrough. Further the hollow shell has an upper smooth surface on which a user will lie and a chest strap is fixed to the upper surface of the hollow shell. A pelvic traction belt is adapted to be received around the pelvic area of a user and has at least one strap extending outwardly toward a foot end of the device. And a T-bar, having a lower portion thereof adapted to be fixed to an outer end of the guided bar and an upper portion thereof adapted to hold at least one strap, extends from the pelvic traction belt.
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the pneumatic lumbar traction device including an upper, hollow shell part and a lower plate part constructed according to the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the device shown in FIG. 1 with a user resting on the device.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the device, similar to the view shown in FIG. 2, but showing straps of a pelvic traction belt connected to a traction bar and extending from a foot end of the device.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the user and the device shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the lower plate part of the device which includes a plate mounting a pneumatic piston and cylinder mechanism, a guideway for a piston rod extending from the cylinder and an air pump.
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a lower plate part of the device with the piston rod of the pneumatic piston and cylinder mechanism extended.
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of a chest strap shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the pelvic traction belt shown in FIG. 4.
Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a pneumatic lumbar traction device 10 constructed according to the teachings of the present invention. The device 10 includes an upper, hollow shell part 12 and a lower board, plate or framework part 14.
The upper, hollow shell part 12 is generally rectangular and constructed and arranged to fit over the lower plate part 14 and has an upper surface 16 which can be a slippery surface, such as by being coated with a lubricous material, such as Teflon™.
It is important to note that on the upper surface 16 there are provided two patches 18 and 19 of hook and loop material sold under the trademark Velcro™. The patches 18 and 19 are adapted to engage with patches 20 and 21 of hook and loop material (Velcro™) on the outside of a chest strap or belt 24 (FIG. 7) for holding the chest strap 24 to the upper surface 16 of the upper, hollow shell part 12. The chest strap 24 further has overlapping lower and upper strap end portions 25 and 26 which are fixed to each other by patches of hook and loop material 27 and 28.
The lumbar traction device 10 can also include a pillow 29, if desired, or such a pillow 29 can be provided by the user.
As shown, the upper, hollow shell part 12 has an opening 30 at a foot end 31 of the upper, hollow shell part 12 through which a generally rectangular-in-cross-section guided bar 32 can extend for connection to a T-bar 34.
The lower plate part 14 comprises a generally rectangularly shaped board, plate or frame 36 having centrally mounted thereon, a pneumatic piston and cylinder mechanism 38 comprising a cylinder 40 and a piston (hidden from view) which acts upon a piston rod 42 extending outwardly out of the piston and cylinder mechanism 38 for engagement with one end 44 of the guided bar 32.
A track or guideway 46 is mounted on the board or plate 14 for holding the guided bar 32 against lateral movement during use of the device 10.
Extending from the cylinder 40 is a tubing 48 which extends to a pump 50 and an air gauge 52. The pump 50 can be a hand operated pump, as shown, similar to a bicycle tire pump, or it can be a bulb type pump with a check valve, as is known in the art.
The pneumatic lumbar traction device 10 further includes a pelvic traction belt 54, as shown in FIG's. 4 and 8, including two lateral straps 56 and 58 which are adapted to be received around a person's pelvis and fixed together by means of mating patches 60 and 62 of hook and loop material which are commonly sold under the trademark Velcro™.
As shown in FIG. 8, the pelvic traction belt 54 has a central body portion 64. Then, extending from a lower side of the central body portion 64 of the pelvic traction belt 54 are two straps 66 and 67 which are adapted to be connected to the T-bar 34, by means of hole 68 and 69 or around the T-bar 34 and a projection 70 fixed to and extending upwardly from an outer end 71 of the guided bar 32. If desired, the straps 66, 68 can be integral with each through a bight portion 72 to form a strap loop 73, as shown in phantom in FIG. 8, which is received around the projection 70.
If desired, the outer surface of the pelvic traction belt 54 can be coated with or made from a lubricous material, such as polytetraflourethylene, commonly sold under the tradename Teflon™ to facilitate sliding of the user and the pelvic traction belt 54 on the upper surface 16 of the upper part 12.
It will be understood that the board or plate 14 has an outer perimeter 74 (FIG. 1) which fits within an inner perimeter 78 of the hollow shell part 12 such that an upper edge 76 at a head end 79 of the outer perimeter 74 of the board or plate 14 will bear against the inside of an upper wall 80 of the inner perimeter 78 of the hollow shell part 14 at a head end 81 of the hollow shell part 14 when air pressure is applied to the piston and cylinder mechanism 38 to cause the piston rod 42 to extend outwardly and force the guided bar 34 from a foot end 82 of the device 10 to pull the pelvic traction belt 54 away from the chest strap or belt 24 on the upper surface 16 of the hollow shell part 14.
In this way, a simple pneumatic lumbar traction device 10 is provided where a chest strap 24 is fixed to the upper surface 16 of the hollow shell part 14, such as with patches 18-21 of hook and loop material, as described above, or other fastening means, and the chest strap 24 can then be fastened tightly around the chest of a user. Then, with the user held to the upper hollow shell part 12 by the chest strap 24, the pelvic traction belt 54 can be pulled outwardly from the foot end 82 of the device 10 for stretching and placing traction on the lumbar area of the users back.
Desirably, the upper surface 16 is inclined slightly, 1 to 15 degrees, from the foot end 82 of the device 10 to a head end 86 of the device 10, as shown in FIG. 1, to facilitate sliding movement of the user on the upper surface 16.
Also it will be noted that the device 10 can include a pair of shoulder straps 88 and 90 each having a patch of hook and loop material at an upper end 94 of the strap 88 or 90 and a patch of hook and loop material at the other end 98 of each strap 88 or 90. Then, the head end 81 of the hollow shell part 14 in an area on each side of and adjacent a corner with one of two long side wall portions 100 and 102 of the hollow shell portion 16 has a patch of hook and loop material 104 which mates with the patch at the upper end 94 of one of the straps 88 or 90. Further the patches of hook and loop material at the end 98 are adapted to mate with one of two spaced patches 106 or 108 of hook and loop material on an outer surface of the upper strap portion 26 of the chest strap 24.
Further, as best shown in FIG. 1, the T- bar 34 has a wide lower portion 112 which has a hole 114 therethrough and the projection 70 is hollow, is sized to receive the portion 112 and has side walls 116 and 118 each having a hole 120 or 122 which mates with the hole 114 for receiving a pin, such as a clevis pin, that is releasably locked in place with a ring or cotter pin. The T- bar then has a rod shaped upper cross member 124 with outer end portions 125 and 126. The holes 68 and 69 in the straps 66 and 67 are then received over end portions 125 and 126 or the straps 66 and 68 are integral through the bight portion 72 and the strap loop 73 is received around the projection 70 beneath the end portions 125 and 126 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.
From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that the pneumatic lumbar traction device 10 of the present invention has a number of advantages, some of which have been described above and others which are inherent in the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||602/36, 602/32, 128/869, 602/38|
|Sep 29, 1998||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GLACIER CROSS, INC., MONTANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CHTIWOOD, RALPH M.;REEL/FRAME:009492/0232
Effective date: 19980910
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|Nov 14, 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
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|Apr 4, 2012||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
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